Saturday, September 26, 2015

Healthy Habits: Teens and Plastic Surgery

People Magazine has an article this month discussing the surge in plastic surgery amongst high school aged teenagers with a focus of the desire to have surgery done during the summer to prepare them for back to school. According to The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, it shows that 64,000 teens, aged 13 to 19 underwent surgery in 2014. According to Dr. Andrew Miller, board certified plastic surgeon with practices in both NYC and NJ, states, “While there is no hard and fast rule about when it’s appropriate to undergo plastic surgery, though there are age limits for breast augmentation and other procedures.” Dr. Miller goes on to say that it is important to remember that plastic surgery is best performed when the treatment area in question is mature and fully formed.

I had a chance to interview Dr. Miller to learn more.

What are some things parents should be aware of if their children express an interest in plastic surgery?
The first things to be aware of if your child expresses an interest in plastic surgery are the psychological state of your child and the motives for having the surgery done. If your child is well adjusted, social, and happy with his/her life then they will make a better surgery candidate. If the reason for surgery is to simply emulate someone on TV or the internet, or because someone else is doing it, or depression, then those are not good reasons for having plastic surgery. 

When is plastic surgery appropriate for teens?
A good reason for plastic surgery would be to improve a feature that you are not happy with in order to feel better about yourself. This is not a new concept as surgery in children to improve protruding ears has been prevalent for many years. However, with the ability of teens to easily access information about plastic surgery, and with the several teen celebrities that have plastic surgery such as Kylie Jenner, many more teens are thinking that they might want something done.

As teens mature into young adults, how can parents support their desire for plastic surgery while helping them make safe and healthy decisions?
The best way to approach this is with a family discussion first. Listen to what the child has to say about why they want a particular procedure, and then have a consultation or two with reputable surgeons. For example, a qualified rhinoplasty surgeon will give a reliable opinion on whether the teen would benefit from a nose job. Together, with the family, the surgeon will examine the patient and the motives for rhinoplasty and determine the best course of action. An ethical surgeon will also act in the interest of patient safety. When all is said and done, a well-performed rhinoplasty can really benefit a teenager with a boost of self-confidence.
Another way to support a teen that is thinking about plastic surgery is to obtain many informative articles about the procedure as well as what makes a safe environment for surgery. Let them know that you will always be available for consultation if they are thinking of having something done. This way the parent can assess the situation and help guide the young adult into a smart decision.

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